How to Make a Strong First Impression on Your Potential Student Residents

By Francine Fluetsch on April 30, 2017
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image via The Jungle Post

Making a strong impression is essential when you are trying to rent out your place, especially when college students are involved. For the students, money is usually pretty tight, so they are going to be searching every nook and cranny of your place to make sure that it is worth the money that they are taking out in student loans.

This puts a lot of pressure on you, so here are some tips on how you can make that wonderful first impression on your potential student residents that they will be impressed by.

It’s fixin’ time

When renting a property, you constantly have new faces in and out of the place, and with more people comes a bit of wear and tear. While it can be annoying to repaint and spackle every year or so, these maintenance routines will really pay off in the long run. If the potential residents see that you are putting in an effort to keep the place looking good, they will be more inclined to rent from you because the place is up to date and you are, through your efforts, a good landlord.

This is one of the beauties of the security deposit. If the renters you had before banged up some corners or have holes in the wall from hanging stuff up, you can use part of the deposit to fix everything up, keep your place looking good, and won’t have to even touch your own money to do it.

Put a modern spin on things

While small fixing jobs are a must, it is also a good idea to keep your place modernized, especially with college students being able to quickly search through hundreds of places for rent based on photos. If your place looks dingy and out of date, some college students might not even bother to book a viewing with you.

So what sort of things can you spruce up? Dingy old carpet can really bring your place down, so if you’ve had it in for a while, it might be a good idea to upgrade to wood or tile. The residents will like it because then they won’t have to get the carpets steamed, and you’ll see the payoff since wood and tile are much harder to stain and wear out than carpet is.

Some of the more expensive investments would be the stove and washing machine if yours are very out of date. The first apartment I rented had one of those electric stovetops, which looked really nice, but it was so old that only one of the four plates actually heated up. This was very frustrating when my roommates and I were all trying to make dinner, and though we told the landlord countless times that it needed to be replaced, nothing happened.

Since these are bigger investments, you can take longer to do it, but make sure that when you change out appliances that you really do your research and get ones that will function properly for a long time and are up with the modern look of things.

Give something away

Nothing makes a better first impression on college students than free stuff. When they come to get a tour of your apartment, why not have a little goodie bag with some candy or cookies for them to take home? You can have some information about the place in there as well to ensure that they remember you, and going the extra mile will really show them that you care.

This article by Rachel Jefferson also recommends having some drinks and snacks out for the potential residents to have an inexpensive but effective greeting method. This works perfectly for an open house because then all the potential residents that come in have their moods lifted, and it doesn’t require too much work on your part.

Deal with the old residents

If you are giving tours of your apartments or houses while you still have current residents residing in them, which is usually the case, make sure to let them know far in advance and send them friendly reminders as to when you are going to have open houses/individuals who are coming to look at the house.

Having a tidy lived in space gives off a much better impression than one that still has dishes in the sink, has smelly clothes strewn everywhere, or, as in the case of one of the houses I visited, still has a resident sleeping in one of the rooms! Level with the current renters and let them know how much you’d appreciate it if they would tidy up the place and make it presentable for new renters.

You could give them an incentive to do so, like charge a fee if they don’t, or bribe them with free snacks. Either would be quite effective and then you don’t have to stress about whether or not the place will be clean when you enter with potential renters.

The more you do it, the easier it gets! As long as you maintain your place and greet the potential residents with a smile and have a good attitude about you, you should never have a problem filling your open spots!

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By Francine Fluetsch

Uloop Writer
UC Santa Cruz
Hi! I'm Francine and I'm a fourth year Creative Writing major at UC Santa Cruz. I am one of the Campus life columnists on Uloop's National Team and also the campus editor for UCSC. I enjoy reading, writing, and taking selfies with my cat.

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